Unmanned Aerial Systems Program (UAS)
The Arlington Police Department operates an Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drone) program to support the departments overall public safety mission.
In 2020 the Arlington Police Department established governing policy documents that paved the way for the creation of the department's first Unmanned Aerial Systems program. APD's UAS program is comprised of department staff that are trained, FAA-certified commercial remote pilots that utilize industry standard drone hardware and software solutions to ensure safe and efficient flight missions.
We utilize our drone only for the following authorized missions:
- Situational awareness: To assist decision makers in understanding the nature, scale, and scope of a critical incident such as a Hazmat Spill, Natural, or Man-Made Disaster.
- Search and Rescue: Assist with missing person investigations, Amber and Silver Alerts, and other search and rescue missions.
- Tactical Deployment: To help provide situational awareness to support the tactical deployment of officers and equipment during emergency situations.
- Crime Scene Investigation: To document, measure, locate, and/or assist in the investigation of crime scenes.
- Traffic Collision Investigation and Reconstruction: To document, measure, locate, and/ or assist in the investigation of vehicle collision scenes.
- Search Warrant: To collect evidence in a criminal investigation under an approved judicial search warrant.
- Mutual Aid: In response to a request for UAS assistance in support of Federal, State, local, or tribal operations.
Our FAA-certified remote pilots operate under an approved set of standards and policy guidelines that are designed to achieve the Arlington Police Department's mission to support overall public safety and emergency management missions while being as non-intrusive as possible. We recognize that drones, while an excellent tool to have at our disposal, may cause some of our residents concern in regards to how the technology is being used. Our program and its governing policy documents were designed specifically to address these concerns which allow us to operate a drone program that is privacy aware, transparent, and mission based.
If you have any questions about the program, feel free to reach out to Officer Jeremy Stocker who oversees the department's UAS program.